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French Quarter - Avenue Road

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Has anyone been here? I went with a friend to check it out.
The coffee was good and the croissant was amazing. Flaky, rich, and all that good stuff. LOL.
There is a nice selection of "french bistro" food..but something tells me we will continue to go there for coffee and pastries.
I hope they do well in the neighborhood.

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  1. Is this place new? I've never noticed before, but saw the reference on the Patisserie Sebastien thread.

    1. Just had a chocolate croissant - was excellent! Quite flaky (almost too much so), but better than almost any place I've had one in Toronto. Wasn't cheap -was about $4.80 (including tax) for 2 chocolate croissants. They had some other things that looked yummy - a small baguette studded with chocolate chips, quiches, and what looked like home made pate.

      All in all, a welcome addition to what tends to be a mediocre chow street. (except the Montreal Bagel house -best bagels, and best cheese bagels this side of Montreal)

      1. I was really looking forward to the opening of French Quarter as soon as the awning went up. I have been there several times since their opening to buy their fresh croissants and baguettes. I used to think Celestine`s had the best croissants in the city, I think French Quarter is as good or even better! Their Almond Croissants are to die for, their chocolate croissants are excellent. I would have really liked if they had their own pastries and desserts, however, French Quarter is a very welcomed new bakery on Avenue Road. In search of these pastries and desserts I stopped in at the new Sesbastians Pattiserri on Yonge & Fairlawn, they were totally cleaned out, not a crumb left in the joint. Must be a good sign.

        1. Stopped in for a light lunch today. I can't believe I never noticed this place before, so thanks to the 'hounds for bringing to to my attention! Note that it's more of a boulangerie than a pure patisserie, which actually makes it more interesting to me. Had a ham and cheese quiche, a glass of freshly squeeze OJ and a simple, lovely cinnamon pastry. The quiche was incredibly tender and flavourful, on a good crust. It was barely underbaked in a good way -- made for a really tender filling. I enjoyed my cinnamon pastry -- buttery and not too sweet with just a light hint of cinnamon. DH said the coffee was very good, btw. The croissants look beautifully crisp, though we didn't try one this time.

          There was a large pan of beef bourguignon on the counter that had such a heavenly smell of wine that we ordered a container to take home for dinner. I'll report back on that after dinner. We chatted with the chef as we were paying and he said that he reduced 6 bottles of wine for the dish. Yum.

          I should note that I am slightly (but pleasantly) horrified to see that they have freshly baked loaves of white chocolate bread. If anyone has ever been to a Club Med, you will know of which I speak. It is the single most addictive form of bread I've ever eaten. I'm scared to buy one because I can easily eat an entire loaf in one sitting. So I'm holding off for now -- shorts and tank top weather approaches!

          All in all, this is a very, very nice spot. All sorts of yummy homemade goodies, including pork and duck pates, lentil salads, roasted veggies and I saw some preserved lemons and limes near the olives towards the back of the shop. They also had crepes filled with scrambled eggs and some croque monsieurs prepped and ready to be toasted. They told us that they usually have more crepe selections, both sweet and savoury.

          They've been open for 4 months and they are owned by the same people who own Provence Delices in Cabbagetown, which would explain the quality. The chef said the kitchen at French Quarter is rather small, so he does some of the work in the Cabbagetown kitchen. If you live in the area, I highly recommend a visit. Let's keep this place going so we can reduce of visits south of Eglinton for quality breads and pastries.

          15 Replies
          1. re: TorontoJo

            OK, so had the beef bourguignon for dinner. Served with some brown rice and roasted asparagus -- it was really delicious. The big chunks of beef were fork tender and the sauce was rich and flavourful. Great rendition of home cooked comfort food. It wasn't cheap -- $22 for the medium container -- but it made for 3 healthy servings, so for the quality, I was happy.

            1. re: TorontoJo

              They have the white chocolate Club Med bread???? Really. Oh that is very good and bad news. That stuff was the only food I really enjoyed at CM---and I enjoyed it WAY too much. When it was warm and fresh... oh my. I must now go there...

              1. re: Ediblethoughts

                I know, it's good and bad all rolled into one carb-loaded dilemma. If you do try it, please report back on the authenticity. When I was chatting with the chef, we were specifically talking about the club med recipe (and how I usually snag a whole loaf to eat on the plane), so I'm guessing it's the real thing.

                1. re: TorontoJo

                  I've only been to CM once and it was quite a few years ago but that bread.. very memorable. I'll definitely let you know.

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    TorontoJo, I bought some of the bread today and I have three words for you: Not enough chocolate! Yes, the baguette is very good (and I'm not really a baguette type bread person so that's saying something). But when you eat this stuff, every bite should have chocolate and this bread is too sparse on white stuff. Also, it's very narrow in places (irregular loafs) so there's too much crust when the majority of the taste experience should be soft white bread and soft, gooey white chocolate. The ingredients are good--but the ratios are way off. I doubt I'd buy it again (unless you go there and tell me they've upped their chocolate ratio!).

                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                      Thanks for the report! It will make it easier for me to resist buying several loaves. It does make me want to try their baguettes though.

                      1. re: TorontoJo

                        I was kind of relieved and disappointed at the same time. I'm sure you understand!

                      2. re: Ediblethoughts

                        Not quite the same, but you might want to try the chocolate chip challah at What A Bagel on Eglinton east of Allen Rd. Only on Fridays, of course. And chocolate in every bite!

                        1. re: Tatai

                          It's actually a Bhabka, not challah.

                          1. re: millygirl

                            Nope. It's actually a traditional braided challah, studded with chocolate chips. Only available on Fridays. Yes, they have a chocolate babka, too.

                            1. re: Tatai

                              Are the chocolate chips soft and gooey? (I'm not usually into chocolate chip muffins and such---the chips are too hard.)

                              1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                Yup, soft and gooey.

                                1. re: Tatai

                                  OK then--next time I'm around there!

                              2. re: Tatai

                                Hey, Tatai. I asked about chocolate chip challah today and they said they didn't make that--just raisin hallah. (This is the location at Yonge and Eglinton-----right?)

                                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                  No. The only location that seems to make it is on Eglinton between Bathurst and Allen Rd., on the south side of the street. I bought one last Friday, as a matter of fact. Only half of it made it home...

                  2. This place sounds great. Where on Avenue Road?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: peppermint pate

                      On Avenue, between Haddington and Felbrigg. A block or so south of Bruno's on the East side.

                      -----
                      French Quarter
                      1967 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                      1. re: TorontoJo

                        Cool - thanks!!

                    2. finally had the chance to stop in today and picked up a chocolate almond croissant and a slice of goat cheese, onion and tomato quiche.

                      the chocolate almond croissant was to die for.... i gobbled it up in under 2 minutes. it was the perfect croissant... flaky, buttery, the chocolate and almond still gooey and not too dense. ahh i wish i had another one. i'm eating the quiche right now and it's a huge portion... i was expecting half the amount. it's good but it's very cheesy and oniony and dense... a bit too much so. the pastry part is getting completely overwhelmed. could be because it's goat cheese though. the others looked delicious and were all vegetarian like feta, zucchini and tomato.

                      can't wait to try out more items! the place smells fantastic and is very charming inside

                      1. My husband and I went this morning (Saturday) almost 10 am. When we got there it was very quiet, so I was surprised since many of you have reported about how great this place is. We sat down and I had their hot chocolate, which was very much like the kind I've had in Italian cafes. That is, it was rich and creamy. We split a ham and cheese quiche and a chocolate almond croissant. I was thrilled that the quiche was perfectly cooked. As mentioned before, the egg was just barely cooked through so it was creamy and light. The croissant was rich, flaky and fluffy with just enough chocolate and almond to satisfy.
                        By the time we were finished the tables were filled up. I had planned on buying a baguette and almond croissant to go but they had already sold out of the almond croissant and I got the second last baguette. I'm really happy that this place has such great croissants because I've often had to trek far to get decent croissants. But a warning, if you want the chocolate almond or almond croissants go early on the weekend!
                        When the place filled up, the waitress was really busy and having a hard time keeping up with the orders, getting the drinks, and prepping food. The chef was helping out, but if they get any busier the service will be quite slow.
                        On the whole, very happy with the food and will definitely be back.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: sylly

                          Picked up 2 baguettes and a pian au chocolat this morning and a ham & cheese on a baguette yesterday.. Server is very sweet (cute too) and the baked goods remind me of being in Paris!!

                          1. re: robb

                            I picked up a baguette, croissant and some duck liver pate yesterday from the French Quarter. I wouldn't rave about the bread items but the pate is outstanding. I have had better baguettes from Bonjour Brioche. But this is a great addition to our stale neighborhood.

                            1. re: theresah

                              I find the pate too coarse for my palette. I like it much smoother and I like the baguettes way better than BB-go figure!! I will agree that it is a great addition. Have you tried Mela, the Indian restaurant?

                              1. re: robb

                                Tried 3 things today.

                                Chocolate almond croissant to me was my least fave. Kinda bland actually. Also, not sure where the almond was. Tasted, looked, and felt more like a vanilla custard than an almond mixture. A pretty bland one at that. I wonder if I in fact got the chocolate almond croissant or was given something else by accident?

                                Regular croissant was pretty good. Not sure I'd rush back for it. I prefer World Class Bakers for regular butter croissants still. It was beautifully flaky, but I personally like mine more buttery. But pretty decent overall.

                                The cinnamon pastry (not sure of its proper name) was just awesome. Would go back for that.

                                Definitely want to try some lunch there.

                                1. re: robb

                                  This may belong under the Mela post, but to answer Robb's question. Yes, we had Mela last night. It usually is very good, but on this odd occasion it wasn't as tasty. Perhaps because I ordered at 3 and picked up at 5:30. Will not do that again. But overall the quality has been good. I have tried most things on the menu and the only thing that really wasn't great was an appetizer called Paneer Pakuras, they were very dry. Our favourite is the chicken vindaloo (very spicy), chicken masala and the tandoori lamb chops.

                              2. re: robb

                                Went today before noon. No almond croissants but the chocolate almond one was delicious. Very flaky. The butter one was also quite good, not as good as the ones I had at the Joel Robuchon bakery - that one was very very buttery (and I imagine very fattening as well). Also got baguette right out of the oven - very crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside.

                                1. re: caitlink

                                  Finally tried it too, somewhat disappointed w/ the chocolate croissant. Too dense for my liking, and chocolate was rather bland. I'd much prefer the ones from Jules (when the proper baker is there). Got there around 10:30am this friday, and already out of almond croissants (others were asking for it too, why don't they just make more?).

                                  Also had the croques monsieur, nice brioche-like bread thick cut, cheese and ham was very plain though. Lemonade was pretty tart, not too sweet. Also wanted to try a crepe, but apparently they didn't make it today.

                                  Took home some boeuf bourguignon (medium sized container was $20!). Hope it's good (will try tonight).

                                  I don't think I'll be back for awhile, since w/ Jules I can still get my fav pain chocolate, free parking and is closer to home for me.

                                  1. re: Royaljelly

                                    Finally tried the beef bourguignon... very rustic and hearty (though the meat was a bit dry and tough), totally reminded me of the meals I had at Provence Delices (a place I like, but not too popular on Chowhound). Kinda pricey though for $20 takeout in a medium sized container, not sure I'd have it again on a warm spring evening.

                                    1. re: Royaljelly

                                      Too bad -- my meat was fall apart tender. The sauce is rich and delish, though, no? I agree that it should be a fall and winter dish. It's a bit of an odd offer on a beautiful spring or summer day.

                                      Picked up a couple of pieces of quiche today. Tomato, zucchini, feta was very good. Spinach and goat was too spinach-y without any other flavours to balance it out (maybe some onion?). But still great texture and crust.

                            2. Have to disagree with the good reviews. When they first opened, they were bringing in croissants from pain perdu. I was disappointed they weren't baking their own, but at least the croissants were of high quality. Went today, and the croissant aux amandes, and the pain aux raisins, were worse than mediocre. The croissant aux amandes was dry, filled with almond extract and overly flavored. The pain aux raisins was mushy. Are they now baking their own?

                              Waiting for la bamboche to open on avenue, north of fairlawn.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: OSHTORONTO

                                I drove by today, and there is a lease sign up on the window.
                                Not happy. I really thought they would do well on Avenue Road.

                                1. re: domesticgodess

                                  definitely out of business

                                  1. re: barneyvernon

                                    Yup. They are done. Talked to the man that owns the building and he said that the owner/chef was there less and less; his heart just wasn't into it? He didn't give the neighborhood a chance? Its too bad because it definitely was a welcome addition to the street and the staff that worked there were pretty friendly. I think their downfall was too much expensive prepared food. Perhaps they should have concentrated more on baked goods and freshly prepared foods.

                              2. The French Quarter is now a restaurant called "Kitchen" opening soon (as of today). There is a notice that they have applied for a liquor license so I am assuming they will be a "real" restaurant and not just a daytime cafe/bakery/takeout place but that is all I know. Anyone else care to add to my information?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                                  TF-I don't think you are right. Drove buy recently and it looks a new nail/spa is going in there...just what the area needs!! I'll double cheque later.

                                  1. re: robb

                                    You are right...and wrong. The nail/spa is going next door.

                                    1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                                      TF-I respectfully disagree. Just drove by. You are wrong. The nail/spa place is going in where FQ used to be. Kitchen is one door south.

                                      1. re: robb

                                        robb, I'm afraid TF is right. Kitchen is going to occupy the space FQ used to occupy. The nail place is indeed next door (north).

                                        Not that any of this matters much but I thought I'd help settle the confusion.

                                2. How does it compare to Jules and Petite Thuet? Those are where I get my fave croissants, so if it's comparable I'd be willing to make a trip but if not I can save my time!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: hippotatomus

                                    Sorry, it's closed now. :(